‘THE SAGE’-Klein’s Online Newsletter—DECEMBER 2020
Klein’s Floral & Greenhouses
608/244-5661 or info@kleinsfloral.com


Special Holiday Shopping Hours
Coming Soon: Our Popular 12 Days of Christmas Specials
Our ‘Mad Gardener’ and ‘Houseplant Help‘ Are Ready for Your Questions
Christmas Flowers
The Rose Garden and Winter Protection
No-Chemical Pest Control
Klein’s Favorite Seed, Bulb & Plant Sources
You Asked the Mad Gardener about Bulbs vs. Squirrels
Fresh Windowsill Herbs from Silverleaf Greenhouses
Klein’s Favorite Pomegranate Recipes
Product Spotlight: 20% Savings on Special Order Water Fountains from Henri Studio
Notes from Rick’s Garden Journal—From November 2020
—Natural Fungus Control
—“Do Not Fertilize” Annuals
—The Garden Keeps on Giving
December in the Garden: A Planner
Gardening Events Around Town
Review Klein’s @: Yelp, Google Reviews or Facebook Reviews
Join Us on Twitter
Follow Us on Facebook


We will be open extended hours by appointment only, Tuesday, Dec 1, Wednesday, Dec 2 & Thursday, Dec 3, 6- 8 pm for all of your shopping & decorating needs!


Follow the link to make an appointment and reserve your spot. Space is limited to 30 people/hour. Receive a bag upon check in and enjoy 20% off anything you can fit inside of it! A reservation is good for one (1) person. There is no cost for a reservation.


If you’d like to make an appointment for more than one person increase the quantity or make an additional reservation.


Please check in when you arrive at the entrance, you will get your bag at that time. Masks are required to be worn inside and outside. Please practice social distancing and allow at least six feet space from other customers and employees.


WATCH FOR OUR POPULAR “12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS” SPECIALS. Each day from Saturday, December 12 through Christmas Eve, Klein’s will feature a new item for holiday gift-giving, culminating on Thursday, December 24 with all featured products on sale for last minute shoppers and bargain seekers. Visit our website or watch for emailed updates.


You can contact Klein’s in-house indoor plant experts by emailing to Houseplant Help for sound information and advice regarding indoor tropicals, succulents, blooming plants and so much more.


For many years, customers’ indoor plant questions have been directed to Klein’s Mad Gardener (see below). Now you have the opportunity to contact our indoor plant experts directly. We’ve posted a link on our home page and in our contacts for your convenience. Your question might then appear in the “You Asked” feature of our monthly newsletter. If your question is the one selected for our monthly newsletter, you’ll receive a small gift from us at Klein’s.


We reserve the right to leave correspondence unanswered at our discretion. Please allow 2-3 days for a response.


“Madison’s Firsthand Source for Expert Gardening Advice”


Ask any of your gardening questions by e-mailing them to us at madgardener@kleinsfloral.com. Klein’s in-house Mad Gardener will e-mail you with an answer as promptly as we can. We’ve also posted a link on our home page and in our contacts for your convenience. Your question might then appear in the “You Asked” feature of our monthly newsletter. If your question is the one selected for our monthly newsletter, you’ll receive a small gift from us at Klein’s.


Sorry, we can only answer those questions pertaining to gardening in Southern Wisconsin and we reserve the right to leave correspondence unanswered at our discretion. Please allow 2-3 days for a response.


Holiday Hours
Monday thru Friday 9:00-6:00
Saturday: 9:00-6:00
Sunday: 10:00-5:00
Holiday hours run through Wednesday, December 23


Christmas Eve, Thursday, December 24—Open 9:00-4:00


Starting December 26:
Monday thru Friday : 9:00-6:00
Saturday: 9:00-5:00
Sunday: 10:00-4:00


New Year’s Eve, Thursday, December 31–Open 9:00-4:00


Closed Christmas Day, December 25 & New Year’s Day, January 1, 2021


Early December–Order your beautiful poinsettias, blooming plants, designer gift baskets or custom-made centerpieces now for holiday gift-giving and guaranteed delivery. Early ordering ensures you top quality product for your home decorating and holiday party needs.


December 10—Hanukkah Begins


December 12 thru December 24–Stop in and check-out our in-store specials during Klein’s “12 Days of Christmas” for any last minute gift-giving ideas. We still have a fantastic selection of homegrown poinsettias, blooming plants, houseplants, decorations and more. Shop early for the best section and we’ll deliver anywhere in Madison or most of the surrounding communities.


December 21–Winter Solstice


December 25–Christmas Day (Closed)


December 26–Kwanzaa Begins (runs through January 1)


December 26The After Christmas Clearance Sale begins at 9:00! Everything ‘holiday’ must go! This is a great time to plan for this week’s New Years Eve party or to pick up some excellent bargains for next year’s decorating. Poinsettias are perfect for adding instant color to your late season holiday party and are gorgeous in fresh arrangements.


December 26 thru December 31–Order your New Years Eve centerpieces and custom designed arrangements early!


December 29–Full Moon


January 1, 2021–New Year’s Day (Closed)




Christmas Flowers
Christmas flowers are such a beautifully poignant way to add magic to the holidays. And one look at the many gorgeous Christmas flower arrangements we offer should assure you that no matter what style or price range you’re looking for…you need look no further.


Though there won’t be any large family, friend or work get-togethers this season due to COVID, there’s no reason not to send joy for intimate holiday events. Get glowing a few days before the event by sending family and friends one of our many striking centerpieces. There’s no better gift than a Christmas flower delivery to add grace and beauty, naturally. Brighten this holiday be adding some sparkle. We have several sparkling selections that will add their share of shine to the holidays.


Do you want to send some standout gifts? Browse through our Christmas flower bouquets we create in keepsake containers that will make your gift will last long after the flowers and the holidays are over. Or perhaps you’d rather send a fabulous wreath, miniature cypress tree or Norfolk pine or the always appreciated homegrown Klein’s poinsettia…whatever you settle upon you can be sure your Christmas flower delivery will be super special.


All of our arrangements are hand-arranged by Darcy, Andrea or Sue, then hand-delivered, as well by Carl, Howard or Rick. And during the holidays it’s especially nice to send a gift with a difference you can rely on. Christmas flowers really make the holiday more beautiful.


I would like some ideas/suggestions to keep squirrels from digging up newly planted bulbs. Renee


Hi Renee,
Though squirrels will dig in any loosened soil to store food for the winter, they do actually dig up, stash and then eat tulip, lily and crocus bulbs, among others. Daffodils and hyacinths are safe from being eaten, but are also oftentimes dug up anyway. At Klein’s we suggest chicken wire or hardware cloth laid over the newly planted area and then weighted down. The chicken wire can be removed once the soil has frozen solid, but we recommend removing it just before new growth appears in the spring and so the bulbs don’t grow into the wire. If removed too early, squirrels will sometimes dig up bulbs in the spring out of desperation. We’ve found that blood meal doesn’t really work well and rodent repellents tend to be very hit and miss.


Thanks for your question,


. . . that December is the proper time to protect your roses from winter weather?


This is one of the more commonly asked questions we receive this time of the year at Klein’s and the tendency is for gardeners to protect their garden plants from winter weather a little too early. Protection for both perennial beds and shrubs (including roses) should be applied once the soil freezes (and stays frozen), once all pests are dormant and once all growth has ceased for the season. These conditions usually don’t occur until the first weeks of December here in the Madison area; and sometimes even later if the temperatures stay above normal. Roses can be particularly susceptible to future problems if not ‘winterized’ properly.


The following comes to us from the University of Illinois Extension at urbanext.illinois.edu


Our Rose Garden–Winter Protection
Many of the roses that are classified as old garden roses are extremely tolerant of cold temperatures, while others like hybrid teas experience considerable damage. Also, budded roses, if not properly planted, stand a greater chance of injury or death due to severe cold than do own-root roses. When selecting roses, always select cultivars that are able to tolerate the coldest temperatures in your area based on USDA hardiness zone maps. One of the ways to protect roses for the winter is to be sure they go completely dormant. To accomplish this, stop fertilizing early enough so growth slows down. No fertilizer should be applied after August 15 (August 1 here in Madison). To further encourage dormancy, stop dead-heading or cutting flowers after October 1 (mid-September here) and allow the plant to form hips.


There are many methods to provide winter protection for roses. The whole idea of winter protection is to keep the plant uniformly cold and frozen all winter and prevent the damaging effects of alternate freezing and thawing. Whatever method is chosen, don’t begin covering plants too early. Wait until a hard killing frost has caused most of the leaves to fall. You may also want to wait until the temperature has dropped into the teens for several nights. Prior to covering, remove any foliage or other debris that might harbor disease for the next season.


Before covering, some tall roses may need minor pruning to reduce their height, and tying of the canes together to prevent wind whipping. Pruning, however, at this point should be kept to a minimum. The majority of the pruning will be done in the spring to remove dead and diseased canes.


The most common way to provide winter protection is to pile or “hill-up” a loose, well-drained soil/compost mix around and over the plant to a depth of about 10-12 inches. A variety of hilling materials can be used, but the key is to be sure that the material is well drained. Wet and cold is far more damaging than dry and cold. Also, the decisions that are made when preparing the site for roses really governs what kind of success you will have in winter survival. A rose that is planted in poorly drained soil will suffer and often not survive the winter when that same rose, planted in a well-drained site, will flourish.
Soil that is used to “hill-up” plants should be brought in from outside the rose garden. Scraping up soil from around the plant can cause root injury and lessen the plant’s chance for survival.


After the soil mound has frozen, the mound can be covered with evergreen boughs, hardwood leaves, or straw to help insulate and keep the soil frozen.


The best way to protect roses in our area is to mound the base of each plant with 10-12 inches of soil. When the soil has frozen, another 10-12 inches of leaves, hay or evergreen branches should be applied.


A variation of the “hilling” method that may offer a bit more protection is one utilizing collars. An 18-inch-high circle of hardware cloth or chicken wire is placed around the plant. The collar is filled with soil, allowed to freeze and then mulched with straw. The benefit of the collar is that it holds the soil in place all winter and prevents it from being washed or eroded away. Over the winter, this erosion can reduce the mound to a very ineffective level, exposing roses to possible winter damage.


Another popular method of winter protection for roses is the use of styrofoam rose cones. If these are used, they need to be used properly. First, don’t cover the plants too early. Follow the timing guidelines as for other methods of covering roses. Second, cones need to be well ventilated to prevent heat build-up on the inside during sunny winter days. Cut four to five 1-inch holes around the top and bottom of the cone. These holes will aid in ventilation and keep the air inside the cone from heating up, causing the rose to break dormancy. It is also advisable to mound soil around the crown of the plant before putting the cone in place. For extremely tender varieties, some rose growers cut the top off the cone and stuff it full of straw for added protection. It is also a good idea to weight the cone down with a brick or stone to keep it from blowing away.


Climbing and rambler roses offer challenges with regard to winter protection. In very cold climates and for marginal varieties, climbers may need to be removed from their supports and bent to the ground, then covered with six inches of soil and mulched.


When laying climbers on the ground for covering, one needs to be very careful not to injure or crack the stems. As the weather gets colder their long stems are not as pliable, and they are easily cracked resulting in the loss of that cane.


Another method that can be used is to physically pack straw around the canes while they are still attached to the trellis or support. The straw is held in place with twine to keep it in place over the winter. Burlap can then be used to wrap the entire plant, providing protection as well as holding the straw in place.


Finally, always remember that healthy roses are much more likely to make it through severe winters than are roses weakened by disease, drought, insects, or nutrient deficiencies.


PRODUCT SPOTLIGHTEach month we spotlight some product that we already carry or one that we’ve taken note of and plan to carry in the near future. Likewise, if you would like to see Klein’s to carry a product that we don’t currently, please let us know. Our goal is to be responsive to the marketplace and to our loyal clientele. If a product fits into our profile, we will make every effort to get it into our store. In addition, we may be able to special order an item for you, whether plant or hard good, given enough time.


‘The Creativity Continues’


The soothing sounds of running water has become increasingly popular in Madison area gardens in the past few years and nothing could be easer to maintain or look more stunning than a self contained fountain from Henri Studio. Their elegant designs are craft in cement; making them virtually indestructible and resistant to anything Mother Nature can throw at them. All styles come with a pump and all accessories needed for immediate set up.


At Klein’s usually we carry many popular designs in stock during the gardening season. Many are lit with long-lasting LED lights for added nighttime effect. That said, Klein’s is able to order any fountain in the current Henri Studio catalog for pick up at the store or drop shipped to your home for an added fee.


Again for 2021: All Special Order Henri Studio fountains will be 20% off our retail price if ordered and purchased by January 15, 2021. Visit the Henri Studios website at www.henristudio.com for a look at their amazing catalog. Then call or email Kathryn @ 608-244-5661 or kathryn@kleinsfloral.com for information and pricing. All orders must be picked up (or arrangements made) immediately upon arrival @ Klein’s. Please note that orders placed after January 15 will be at regular price.


About Henri Studio:
Over the past 50 years, Henri Studio has become synonymous with excellence in cast stone fountains, statuary and garden décor. Acclaimed worldwide, Henri sets the benchmark for innovative concepts and premium products in a category which it virtually created.


Season after season, our flow of original designs in fountains and garden décor has energized the Henri brand. From classic to contemporary, Henri creations are sculpted with an eye for detail and a time-tested sensibility.


The artisan’s touch shapes every Henri creation. Each piece is poured by hand in the tradition of meticulous Old World craftsmanship, complemented by our rich, trend-setting finishes. Our fountains are expertly engineered and all Henri products are skillfully made in America.


The result is an evolving legacy of beauty. Henri fountains and garden décor continue to enhance distinctive homes and landscapes around the world, adding elegance and enjoyment to your outdoor living experience.


Creativity and quality are our passion. And with Henri fountains and garden décor, beauty and elegance are yours to enjoy now, and for years to come.


NOTES FROM MY GARDEN JOURNAL–Tips and Observations from My Own Garden by Rick Halbach


ENTRY: NOVEMBER 7, 2017 (Natural Fungus Control)
Dang…powdery mildew is beginning to show up on my indoor rosemary plants. This is a normal yearly occurrence after I bring my rosemary indoors for the winter months, but I always hope for the best. Because I use my rosemary in cooking through the entire winter, I can’t use certain chemical fungicides for the control of the powdery mildew. That said, I’ve had great success using a mixture of milk and water (see below). Used preventively, the mixture will control the powdery mildew until I can put my rosemary plants outdoors next May.


There are a number natural ways to control powdery mildew and most other fungal problems on indoor plants. These include:


Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate) -This is possibly the best known of the home-made, organic solutions for powdery mildew. Although studies indicate that baking soda alone is not all that effective, when combined with horticultural grade or dormant oil and liquid soap, efficacy is very good if applied in the early stages or before an outbreak occurs.


Use this recipe to make your own solution—mix one tablespoon of baking soda with a teaspoon of dormant oil and one teaspoon of insecticidal or liquid soap (not detergent) to a gallon of water. Spray on plants every one to two weeks.


Potassium Bicarbonate– Similar to baking soda, this has the unique advantage of actually eliminating powdery mildew once it’s there. Potassium bicarbonate is a contact fungicide which kills the powdery mildew spores quickly. In addition, it’s approved for use in organic growing.


Mouthwash – If it can kill the germs in your mouth, certainly the fungal spores of powdery mildew are no match. And that’s the premise. Generic, ethanol based mouthwash can be very effective at control. Tests using one part mouthwash to three parts water worked for well for Jeff Gillman, Ph.D and Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota, Department of Horticulture. Just be careful when mixing and applying mouthwash as new foliage can be damaged.


Vinegar – Similar to mouthwash, the acetic acid of vinegar can control powdery mildew. A mixture of 2-3 tablespoons of common apple cider vinegar, containing 5% acetic acid mixed with a gallon of water does job. However, too much vinegar can burn plants but at the same time, higher concentrations (above 5%) are more effective.


Sulfur and Lime/Sulfur – Direct contact by sulfur prevents disease spores from developing. When mixed with hydrated lime, the solution will penetrate leaves for even greater effectiveness. A widely available version of this combination includes copper sulphate and hydrated lime, known as Bordeaux mix. However, all of these solutions can burn plant tissue and is damaging to microorganisms in the soil and harmful to beneficial insects. It is also considered moderately toxic to mammals and humans. Use sparingly and with caution if at all.


Milk – The latest player in the fight against powdery mildew is milk. It’s not clear yet why it works so well, but it is believed that naturally occurring compounds in the milk are at work to combat the disease while also boosting the plant’s immune system. One experiment showed good results by applying a weekly dose of one part milk per two to five parts water.


Water – Ironically, dry conditions and high humidity are the most favorable conditions for powdery mildew to form. But straight water is its enemy because it washes off the spores before they have time to embed. However, water isn’t something that I promote for control because wet foliage is friend to many other plant diseases. If you’re going to try this option, do so early in the day so foliage has time to dry out quickly.


Neem Oil – This is a readily available organic option to disease and pest control. Neem oil is extracted from the neem tree, native to India. This is an effective disease control and a broad spectrum, natural insecticide that is kinder to beneficial insects and mammals. As for controlling powdery mildew, results vary but it is not the best option. Results are usually moderate at best.



* * * * *


ENTRY: NOVEMBER 11, 2020 (“Do Not Fertilize” Annuals)
December’s Garden Gate magazine features a lengthy and informative article about fertilizing. Though I know that some garden plants are not heavy feeders (impatiens, begonias and succulents, i.e.), I didn’t realize that some of our favorite garden annuals resent being fertilized all together and, in fact, may fail to flower if fertilized. Dahlias are on that list. I’ve oftentimes wondered why my potted dahlias fail to flower well, when the ones in the garden thrive. The answer: I fertilize my containers on a regular 10-14 day schedule, but tend to ignore my annuals growing in beds. Next season I plan on treating my potted dahlias quite differently.


Other common annuals on the “do not fertilize” list include; bidens, celosia, cosmos, marigolds, morning glories, nasturtiums, dianthus and vinca.


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ENTRY: NOVEMBER 26, 2020 (The Garden Keeps on Giving)
Needless to say, we’re having a very small Thanksgiving celebration this year due to COVID…i.e. just the two of us instead of our parents, siblings and extended families. We’re planning a simple dinner, but still with all the fixin’s. It’s a joy to continue using fresh vegetables and herbs from garden so late in the season. After the weather turned cold a few weeks back, with nights often in the low 20’s, I moved a dozen containers filled with kale (favorites include Winterbor, Redbor, Scarlet, Casper and Blue Dazzler) and collards to the garage for many weeks of continued harvesting, oftentimes up to and after Christmas depending on the weather. Three pots of parsley and a tub of spearmint continue to thrive and produce under lights in our cool basement. I usually continue to harvest both as needed into February and until the parsley begins to bolt. Once the mint begins to look ratty, I move it to the root cellar and allow it to go dormant for the rest of the winter before moving it outdoors in April. In addition, fresh rosemary, bay laurel and thyme are flourishing on my sunny window sills for continued harvests as needed.


KLEIN’S RECIPES OF THE MONTHThese are a selection of relatively simple recipes chosen by our staff. New recipes appear monthly. Enjoy!!


Pomegranates are at their peak starting in November and then through the winter months in local grocery stores and supermarkets. Fruits are very low in calories and rich in phosphorous and potassium. The fruit rind is also used in the production of natural dyes.


Pomegranates are produced on a thorny shrub with bright green leaves, attractive orange flowers and distinctive fruits that contain numerous seeds, each surrounded by a bright red to whitish juice sac (aril).


The pomegranate is an ancient plant of Middle Eastern (Persian) origin that is perhaps indigenous to parts of Turkey and the adjoining Caspian region. The plant is steeped in history: it is is a symbol of fertility and is believed to be the “Tree of Knowledge” from the Garden of Eden (the were no apples in the Middle East). The persistent calyx is thought to have inspired the crown of King Solomon and hence the typical crown of European kings. The fruit (Punica granatum) gave its name to the Spanish city of Grenada and the hand grenade. Punica refers to the Roman name for Carthage, from where pomegranates were once imported to Italy. Granatum means “with many seed grains”. Today most pomegranates are cultivated in the Middle East, the Mediterranean and India. Fruits are picked when they are fully ripe.


The fleshy seeds are eaten fresh and the extracted juice is now popular worldwide and noted for its anti-oxidant properties. Pomegranate is the source of grenadine, a bright red concentrate that is used in drinks. The concentrate is also used in sauces, soups, meat dishes, salads and sweet couscous. The dried seeds are an important spice (anardana) for sweet-sour dishes in northwestern India.


Source material: Food Plants of the World by Ben-Erick van Wyk from Timber Press.


Pomegranate plants are a wonderful addition to the home and summer patio. Logees Greenhouses (@ www.logees.com) sells a variety called ‘Big Red’ (quite fitting in Badger country!)


“If you’re looking for a large-fruited pomegranate that can be grown in a container, then ‘Big Red’ is for you. The fruit quality is very good and it can reach the size of store bought pomegranates. The fruit has a leathery, deep-red outer rind with juicy red pomegranate seeds inside. The fruit ripens in late fall before plants go dormant for the season. Selected for its low chill dormancy requirements, ‘Big Red’ will flower as far south as central Florida and is hardy to zone 8 in the north. The chill requirements can easily be reached by leaving the potted plant outside until late fall. The dormant plant can be stored in cold buildings without light as long as the temperatures are not below freezing and not above 40° F. In the spring, bring plants outside as soon as the weather warms up.” Outdoors, place in full sun. Grows to about 5’ tall in a container.


POMEGRANATE CORN SALAD—This absolutely delicious and lovely salad appeared on the Channel 3000.com website a number of years back.
1 x 15 oz. can corn, drained
1/2 medium green pepper, finely chopped
1/2 medium red pepper, finely chopped
2 TBS. fresh parsley
1/2 cup pomegranate arils (seeds)


1/2 cup pomegranate juice
1 TBS. sugar
1 TBS. extra virgin olive oil
2 TBS. red wine vinegar


In a bowl, combine the corn, peppers, parsley and pomegranate and set aside. In a small saucepan, mix together the juice and sugar and bring to a boil. Allow the mixture to reduce by half. Add the oil and the vinegar. Mix well and pour over the corn mix. Stir well and refrigerate. Stir before serving. Serves 6.


JUICY DREAMS—This nummy cocktail was the hit of the holidays this past season for one of our employee’s holiday get togethers!! Very unique and fun to make!! The recipe appeared in the Wisconsin State Journal, December 2013.


Per drink:
2 oz. bourbon
1 oz. Lillet, a sweet French wine found in the dessert wine section (port, sherry, etc.)
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
2 oz. pomegranate juice


In an ice-filled cocktail shaker, combine the bourbon, Lillet, lemon juice and pomegranate juice. Shake and strain into an ice-filled tumbler.


POMEGRANATE BANANA NUT BREAD—Also from the Channel 3000.com website.
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 ripe bananas, sliced
1/3 cup canola oil
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup pomegranate arils (seeds)
1 cup chopped walnuts


Preheat the oven to 350º. Butter a 9”x5”x3” loaf pan. In a bowl, mix together the flour, sugar,baking powder and salt. In another bowl, mix together the banana, oil and egg. Beat with a mixture until smooth. Add the milk and vanilla. Pour into the flour mixture. Stir until just blended. Add the arils and the nuts. Stir to mix. Spoon into the pan and level. Bake 45-60 minutes until light brown and set. Test doneness when a toothpick comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in the pan. Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack.


POMEGRANATE CHAMPAGNE PUNCH—From the pages of Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food magazine.
1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice
1 cup pear nectar
1/4 cup orange liqueur (i.e. Grande Marnier)
1 bottle champagne


In a pitcher combine the juice, nectar and liqueur. Slowly add the champagne. Serve over ice. Serves 6.




What to do when pests attack your houseplants without resorting to chemicals?


It’s easier than you think and there are many homemade remedies that are not only safe, but extremely effective.


Sometimes simply changing the pests environment is the simple solution. This oftentimes works with fungus gnats—which hate dry soil, and spider mites—which do not thrive under humid conditions. Aphids can be controlled by the occasional blast of soapy water. Scale and mealy bugs can be controlled with a little rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball or swab.


The first thing to do is isolate the infected plant. Prune or remove the most infected foliage if possible, then carefully wash the stems and leaves (top and bottom) with a mild solution of water and dish soap. Watch the plant carefully and repeat as necessary. The bottom sides of the leaves are the preferred hiding places for whiteflies and spider mites. Periodically mist your plants with this soapy solution. Please note that this should not be done with hairy leafed plants like African violets.


Other home remedies include a 1:5 solution of milk to water for powdery mildew and a garlic tea, made by steeping chopped garlic in hot water for 6 hours. This is also very effective against powdery mildew.


Ironically, moving your plants outdoors during the summer months may be the most effective and simplest pest control available to you. During the summer, when plenty of insect predators and parasites are found in the garden, putting the infected plant outdoors may take care of the problem. Either the pests will be eaten, or, as with aphids, the adults may fly away to another host plant. You’ll notice the pests may reappear again in late winter, but the predatory attacks usually cause a real setback; buying valuable time before you put the plant back outdoors again.


Some ‘natural’ over-the-counter products you may want to consider include:


Insecticidal Soap–Mild and effective, it can sometimes harm plants if used too often.
Hot Pepper Spray–Tends to repel soft bodied insects like thrips, whiteflies and aphids. Hot Pepper Wax actually destroys the insect.


B.T. (Bacillus thuringiensis)–A bacteria that makes insects unable to digest food, thereby killing them.


Neem Oil–Extracted from the neem seed, it is not only effective against insects, but also fungi like mildew and rust.


Aphid and Whitefly Traps–Sticky cards placed near the infected plant attract pest during their flying stages.


Paraffin Sprays–Blocks the breathing apparatus of most insects. Can be a little harsh on some plants so test it out first.


As always, follow the manufacturers instructions when handling any pesticide, even those labeled as natural and safe. Ask a greenhouse associate if you have any questions when purchasing these products.




Fresh Windowsill Herbs from Silverleaf Greenhouses
There’s nothing like the smell of fresh rosemary, thyme, lavender or oregano and it’s easier than you think to have these and many other herbs on hand for quick snipping year round–even during the dead of winter.


Bright light is the most essential requirement in successfully growing herbs on your windowsill during the winter. Many of our most popular herbs originate from the sunny Mediterranean, so in the home, a south windowsill works best, with an east or west sill coming in second. A north window is far too dark to grow herbs well. It’s important to be as near the light source as possible. That’s one of the reasons we refer to them as windowsill herbs. Light intensity drops rapidly even a few feet from a south window. Placing plants as near a window as possible will also help keep your herbs more compact. Not only will they not reach for the light, but the cooling effect off the glass will keep gangly growth in check. In addition, the cooler temps tend to keep any pests at bay. Most herbs hate wet feet, therefore, t’s also easier to control the watering of plants placed on a sunny sill. Herbs like to dry out a bit between waterings, but don’t allow them, especially rosemary, to get too dry. As with all plants, water thoroughly when dry to the touch, but do not allow the plants to sit in a saucer of water. It’s also important to use your herbs frequently. Your snipping acts as pruning and will make for bushier, more compact and shapely plants.


Which herbs work best for windowsill culture? Nearly all except the fast growing annuals like cilantro, basil, dill, etc. These plants simply grow too quickly for indoors and become rather unsightly. Favorites include rosemary and bay laurel, which can live for many years under ideal conditions. With thyme and oregano, a little goes a long way. Parsley looks great, though recipes usually require more than your plant will produce. But as a garnish in soups or snipped onto salads, the beautiful green color is indispensable. Mints work well, too, but be warned…they grow quickly!


Where can I get my herb plants during the winter? At Klein’s, of course! We have far and away the largest selection of herbs for winter culture in the Madison area. We grow hundreds of herbs in 5” pots for both holiday sales and then to sell at the Wisconsin Public Television Garden Expo at the Alliant Energy Center in February (though cancelled in 2021 due to COVID). Our selection includes rosemary, bay laurel, 5 different kinds of lavenders, 3 oreganos, 3 sages, 3 thymes, assorted mints, both flat and curly parsley and sweet marjoram. Our herbs are grown quite cool so are, therefore, compact, bushy and pest-free.


You can also purchase your herbs in the springtime and bring them indoors next fall. But after a summer of growing outdoors, size usually becomes an issue. If you have any questions on how to acclimate your outdoor herbs for their life indoors at the end of the season, feel free to ask any of our helpful staff or e-mail us your questions at madgardener@kleinsfloral.com.


About Silverleaf Greenhouses of Walden, New York:
“We consistently provide healthy young plants through a network of national brokers as well as hearty and attractive finished plants to regional independent retailers and landscapers.


We offer over 280 varieties of herbs, 26 types of scented geraniums, and a list of hedera ivies.


Owned by Larry & Cynthia Silverman, Silverleaf Greenhouses was founded in 1979. Starting out as a small, three-acre farm, Silverleaf Greenhouses has grown today into a thirty-five acre farm, with over 100,000 square-feet of technologically-enhanced greenhouses, located just outside the village of Walden, New York.


At Silverleaf Greenhouses, we strive to be eco-friendly in all of our growing practices. That’s why we use a beneficial insect program, which includes nematodes, predatory mites, and biological fungicides, to safely and naturally keep harmful pests and pathogens at bay. When we do use chemicals, they are always labeled for edibles and compatible with the beneficial insects we use. Most importantly, they are completely safe for the consumer as well as the natural environment.”


Visit www.silverleafgreenhouses.com/product-category/herbs/ to see their extensive selection of herbs and feel free to contact Rick at rick@kleinsfloral.com if you feel we should add something to our selection.


For neighborhood events or garden tours that you would like posted in our monthly newsletter, please contact Rick at (608) 244-5661 or rick@kleinsfloral.com. Please include all details, i.e. dates, locations, prices, brief description, etc. Events must be garden related and must take place in the Madison vicinity and we must receive your information by the first of the month in which the event takes place for it to appear in that month’s newsletter.


***Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, nearly all garden/plant related public events in the Madison area have been cancelled or postponed until further notice.***


Rotary Botanical Gardens’ Holiday Light Show
November 27-29, December 3-6, 10-13, 17-20, 22 & 23, 26 & 27 and December 29 & 30


We’re back for another season bringing brightness to a challenging 2020. This year’s dazzling after-dark walk on the Gardens’ paths features more than ONE MILLION lights, themed light displays and animations for a family-friendly outdoor activity that has historically exceeded attendance records.


We’ve taken every precaution and have instituted several new rules and guidelines for 2020 to keep you and your family safe while still having a joyous holiday experience.
Get your tickets today for a beautiful night stroll filled with the magic of the holidays!


What we have done for increased guest safety:
-The entire Holiday Light Show route is one-way only, including entrance and exit points.
-Expanded hours and added Holiday Light Show nights to spread out attendance.
-Attendance is capped each night to limit the number of people on site at one time.
-Porta-potties are available in the Wellness Garden (about halfway through the show).


What we require of guests for the safety of all:
-Tickets MUST be purchased for a SPECIFIC NIGHT in advance online OR IN PERSON at the Gardens (Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
-FACE COVERINGS ARE REQUIRED (ages 5 and up) both indoors and outdoors. All Garden staff and volunteers will be wearing masks at all times.
-SOCIAL DISTANCING must be practiced at all times when waiting in lines and on paths.


On-site parking is limited. To avoid peak crowds, plan to visit early in the season, on weeknights, and after 8PM.


Admission is $10.00 (13+) and $5.00 for kids 3-12. Children 2 and under are free.


Tickets available at https://rbgholidaylightshow.com


Rotary Botanical Gardens


DECEMBER IN THE GARDEN-A checklist of things to do this month.
**Although the average first frost date for Madison is about Oct. 6, killing frosts have occurred as early as September 12 (1955). Be aware of quick weather changes this time of year. Be prepared to cover tender plants at any time.
___Mulch perennials to protect from the cold and prevent heaving.
___Purchase marsh hay and rose protection. Wait till the ground freezes.
___Mulch roses by mounding soil and wrapping, rather than using rose cones.
___Keep bird feeders full. Clean periodically with soap and water.
___Make water available to the birds. Begin using a deicer as needed.
___Plant bulbs for forcing and put in a cool location for 10-12 weeks.
___Plant bulbs until the ground freezes.
___Prep lawnmower for winter storage and snowblower for weather to come.
___Mark driveways and sidewalks with stakes.
___Finish garden cleanup to make spring easier and prevent pests.
___Do any last minute raking to prevent smothering delicate plants or beds.
___Spread fireplace ashes over beds to amend the soil.
___Make sure clay pots are stored inside and dry to prevent cracking.
___Place your used Christmas tree in the garden for added wildlife protection.
___Have trees trimmed–it’s often times cheaper and easier to schedule.
___Inspect stored summer bulbs like dahlias, cannas and glads for rotting.
___Stop feeding houseplants and cut back on watering.
___Inventory last year’s leftover seeds before ordering new ones.
___Make notes in your garden journal for changes, improvements, etc.
___Wrap trunks of susceptible trees to protect from rodents.
___Visit Klein’s—it’s green, it’s warm, it’s colorful—it’s always spring!


Some of our very favorite seed and plant sources include:


For seeds:
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds @ www.rareseeds.com or 417/924-8887
Burpee @ www.burpee.com or 800/888-1447
Harris Seeds @ www.harrisseeds.com or 800/514-4441
Johnny’s Select Seeds @ www.johnnyseeds.com or 207/861-3901
Jung’s Seeds @ www.jungseed.com or 800/247-5864
Park’s Seeds @ www.parkseed.com or 800/845-3369
Pinetree @ www.superseeds.com or 207/926-3400
Seeds of Change @ www.seedsofchange.com or 888/762-7333
Seed Savers @ www.seedsavers.org or 563/382-5990
Select Seeds @ www.selectseeds.com or 800/684-0395
Territorial Seeds @ www.territorialseed.com or 888/657-3131
Thompson & Morgan @ www.thompson-morgan.com or 800/274-7333


For bulbs:
Brent & Becky’s Bulbs @ www.brentandbeckysbulbs.com or 877/661-2852
Colorblends @ www.colorblends.com or 888/847-8637
John Scheeper’s @ www.johnscheepers.com or 860/567-0838
McClure & Zimmerman @ www.mzbulb.com or 800/883-6998


For plants:
High Country Gardens @ www.highcountrygardens.com or 800/925-9387
Logee’s Greenhouses @ www.logees.com or 888/330-8038
Plant Delights Nursery @ www.plantdelights.com or 912/772-4794
Roots and Rhizomes @ www.rootsrhizomes.com or 800/374-5035
Wayside Gardens @ www.waysidegardens.com or 800/213-0379
White Flower Farm @ www.whiteflowerfarm.com or 800/503-9624


BEHIND THE SCENES AT KLEIN’SThis is a sneak peek of what is going on each month behind the scenes in our greenhouses. Many people are unaware that our facility operates year round or that we have 10 more greenhouses on the property in addition to the 6 open for retail. At any given moment we already have a jump on the upcoming season–be it poinsettias in July, geraniums in December or fall mums in May.


—We’re prepping the hundreds of poinsettias and holiday plants that go out for orders each day. After choosing the most gorgeous plants, we need to foil, bow and sleeve each order before loading into our vans for delivery to Madison’s homes, businesses and churches.


—Tropicals for next summer sale continue to arrive. Our tropicals (such as bougainvilleas, bananas, colocasias, alocasias, etc.) arrive now so we are able to get the best selection and are able to offer you substantial sized plants next summer.


—Hundreds of herbs for windowsill culture are thriving in the sunny, warm greenhouses . We have chosen only the best assortment for indoor growing and winter harvest. Choose from rosemary, lavender, parsley, thyme and more.


—We continue to plan and prepare for Wisconsin Public Television’s Garden Expo at the Alliant Energy Center in February (Cancelled in 2021 due to COVID concerns. Look for a virtual version being planned) by sprucing up display pieces and potting up thousands of violas, primrose, cineraria, etc. for sale at the show. This is one of Klein’s biggest annual events and very good advertising.


Have our monthly newsletter e-mailed to you automatically by signing up on the right side of our home page. We’ll offer monthly tips, greenhouse news and tidbits, specials and recipes. . .everything you need to know from your favorite Madison greenhouse. And tell your friends. It’s easy to do.


THE MAD GARDENER–“Madison’s Firsthand Source for Expert Gardening Advice”
Ask us your gardening questions by e-mailing us at madgardener@kleinsfloral.com. Klein’s in-house Mad Gardener will e-mail you with an answer as promptly as we can. The link is posted on our home page and in all newsletters.


We can only answer those questions pertaining to gardening in Southern Wisconsin and we reserve the right to leave correspondence unanswered at our discretion. Please allow 2-3 days for a response.




Follow Klein’s on Facebook where we post updates and photos on a regular basis.


Join Klein’s on Twitter where we post company updates and photos on a regular basis.


We offer a 10% Off Senior Citizen Discount every Tuesday to those 62 and above. This discount is not in addition to other discounts or sales. Please mention that you are a senior before we ring up your purchases. Does not apply to wire out orders or services, i.e. delivery, potting, etc.


Plastic flower pots and garden edging can now be recycled as part of the City of Madison’s rigid plastic program. Flowerpots and edging must be free of dirt and can be placed in your green recycling bin. For more information call 267-2626 or visit www.cityofmadison.com/streets/recycling/plastic.cfm



Klein’s Floral and Greenhouses delivers daily, except Sundays, throughout all of Madison and much of Dane County including: Cottage Grove, DeForest, Fitchburg, Maple Bluff, Marshall, McFarland, Middleton, Monona, Oregon, Shorewood Hills, Sun Prairie, Verona, Waunakee and Windsor. We do not deliver to Cambridge, Columbus, Deerfield or Stoughton.

Current delivery rate on 1-4 items is $7.95 for Madison, Maple Bluff, Monona and Shorewood Hills; $8.95 for Cottage Grove, DeForest, Fitchburg, McFarland, Sun Prairie, Waunakee and Windsor; and $9.95 for Marshall, Middleton, Oregon and Verona. An additional $3.00 will be added for deliveries of 4-10 items and $5.00 added for deliveries of more than 10 items. For deliveries requiring more than one trip, a separate delivery charge will be added for each trip.


A minimum order of $25.00 is required for delivery.

We not only deliver our fabulous fresh flowers, but also houseplants, bedding plants and hardgoods. There may be an extra charge for very large or bulky items.

Delivery to the Madison hospitals is $5.95. Deliveries to the four Madison hospitals are made during the early afternoon. Items are delivered to the hospital’s volunteer rooms and not directly to the patients’ rooms per hospital rules.

There is no delivery charge for funerals in the city of Madison or Monona, although normal rates apply for morning funeral deliveries to Madison’s west side (west of Park St.). Our normal rates also apply for funeral deliveries in the surrounding communities at all times. Although we don’t deliver on Sundays, we will deliver funeral items on Sundays at the regular delivery rate.


Morning delivery is guaranteed to the following Madison zip codes, but only if requested: 53703, 53704, 53714, 53716, 53718 and Cottage Grove, DeForest, Maple Bluff, Marshall, McFarland, Monona, Sun Prairie, Waunakee and Windsor.

We begin our delivery day at 8:00 a.m. and end at approximately 3:00 p.m. We do not usually deliver after 4:00 unless specific exceptions are made with our drivers.

Except for holidays, the following west-side zip codes and communities are delivered only during the afternoon: 53705, 53706, 53711, 53713, 53717, 53719, 53726, Fitchburg, Middleton, Oregon, Shorewood Hills and Verona.

During holidays (Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, etc.) we are able to make morning deliveries to all of the above areas. We are not able to take closely timed deliveries on any holiday due to the sheer volume of such requests.

It’s best to give us a range of time and we’ll try our absolute hardest. Orders for same day delivery must be placed by 12:30 p.m. or by 2:30 p.m. for Madison zip codes 53704 and 53714.


DEPARTMENT HEADS: Please refer all questions, concerns or feedback in the following departments to their appropriate supervisor.
Phone: 608/244-5661 or 888/244-5661


Horticulturalist & General Manager–Jamie VandenWymelenberg jamie@kleinsfloral.com
Accounts, Billing and Purchasing—Kathryn Derauf kathryn@kleinsfloral.com
Delivery Supervisor & Newsletter Coordinator—Rick Halbach rick@kleinsfloral.com
Owner, Floral Designer & Purchasing—Sue Klein sue@kleinsfloral.com


University of Wisconsin Extension
1 Fen Oak Ct. #138
Madison, WI 53718


Plant Disease Diagnostics Clinic
Dept. of Plant Pathology
1630 Linden Dr.
Madison, WI 53706


Insect Diagnostic Lab
240 Russell Labs
1630 Linden Dr.
Madison, WI 53706


U.W. Soil and Plant Analysis Lab
8452 Mineral Point Rd.
Verona, WI 53593


American Horticultural Society


Garden Catalogs (an extensive list with links)


Invasive Species


Community Groundworks
3601 Memorial Dr., Ste. 4
Madison, WI 53704


Madison Area Master Gardeners (MAMGA)


Wisconsin Master Gardeners Program
Department of Horticulture
1575 Linden Drive
University of Wisconsin – Madison
Madison, WI 53706


The Wisconsin Gardener


Allen Centennial Gardens
620 Babcock Dr.
Madison, WI 53706


Olbrich Botanical Gardens
3330 Atwood Ave.
Madison, WI 53704


Rotary Gardens
1455 Palmer Dr.
Janesville, WI 53545


University of WI Arboretum
1207 Seminole Hwy.
Madison, WI 53711


University of Wisconsin-West Madison
Agricultural Research Center
8502 Mineral Point Rd.
Verona, WI 53593


Children may find the bright colors and different textures of plants irresistible, but some plants can be poisonous if touched or eaten. If you’re in doubt about whether or not a plant is poisonous, don’t keep it in your home. The risk is not worth it. The following list is not comprehensive, so be sure to seek out safety information on the plants in your home to be safe.
•Bird of paradise
•Bull nettle
•Castor bean
•Chinaberry tree
•Deadly nightshade
•Dieffenbachia (dumb cane)
•Glory lily
•Holly berry
•Indian tobacco
•Lily of the valley
•Mescal bean
•Morning glory
•Mountain laurel
•Night-blooming jasmine
•Poison ivy
•Poison sumac
•Water hemlock


Below is a list of some of the common plants which may produce a toxic reaction in animals. This list is intended only as a guide to plants which are generally identified as having the capability for producing a toxic reaction. Source: The National Humane Society website @ http://www.humanesociety.org/
•Autumn Crocus
•Black locust
•Carolina jessamine
•Castor bean
•Chinaberry tree
•Christmas berry
•Christmas Rose
•Common privet
•Corn cockle
•Cow cockle
•Day lily
•Delphinium (Larkspur)
•Dutchman’s breeches
•Easter lily
•Elephant’s ear
•English Ivy
•European Bittersweet
•Field peppergrass
•Horse nettle
•Jerusalem Cherry
•Lily of the valley
•Milk vetch
•Morning glory
•Poison hemlock
•Rosary pea
•Sago palm
•Skunk cabbage
•Star of Bethlehem
•Wild black cherry
•Wild radish
•Yellow jessamine